In this evaluation, I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of using Ooni pizza ovens based on my personal experience. I’ll also address who could enjoy them, as well as whether or not you should consider purchasing one.
The following is a list of the primary areas that I believed to be of
Develop a High Standard of Usability
Value versus Performance
I’m going to go through each of these in great detail and share my thoughts at various points along the route.
When was Ooni pizza oven first established?
Before we get into the review, it would probably be best to begin with some background information about the company and how it got started in the first place.
Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, a husband-and-wife partnership, launched Ooni in the year 2012. Kristian had developed an unhealthy preoccupation with pizza making and was on a never-ending quest to create the ideal pie (haven’t we all been there?!).
However, he quickly realized that his home oven was not up to the task, as it did not get nearly as hot as a pizza oven does when it was turned up to its highest setting.
When he started looking for a pizza oven to buy, he discovered that all of them were extremely pricey, cumbersome, and heavy. After that, he set out on a mission to create a pizza oven that was not only inexpensive but also portable, space-saving, and relatively lightweight.
The first Ooni pizza oven was made available for pre-order on Kickstarter in November of 2012. The prototype was the world’s first portable wood-fired oven, and many of the Oonis are still using wood pellets as their primary source of fuel to this day. Despite this, some of the Ooni models have been updated to use gas.
The oven was an instant success, and it quickly surpassed its financing goal while drawing attention from all over the world. The arrival of Ooni!
I’ve been around long enough to remember the earlier models, and let me tell you, they’ve certainly come a long way since then! However, despite their “boxiness,” the Oonis were successful in the beginning. They produced pizza that was far superior than that produced by a standard oven.
Ooni has, without a doubt, experienced a great deal of growth and change in a relatively short amount of time. In fewer than ten years, they went from having a prototype that was funded through crowdsourcing to being a large global company that offers a variety of pizza ovens and accessories.
First, the Quality of the Construction
Now that we have that out of the way, shall we? In my opinion, the greatest place to start is with the quality of the construction.
What kind of material is used to construct Ooni pizza ovens?
Ooni pizza ovens are constructed out of stainless steel and have a ceramic stone at the bottom for baking the pizzas on.
The steel appears to be of high quality, and the chromed components (such the chimney on the Ooni Fyra) look amazing.
It is probably accurate to state that the Oonis do not have the same sense of sturdiness as many of the heavier pizza ovens on the market today. However, this is the case due to the fact that they were created to weigh as little as possible. Because of this, it is much simpler to move them, say, from the garage to another location. Or to bring with you when you go to visit a buddy (or go anyplace else for that matter)!
To be fair to Ooni, I’ve never had the impression that the construction of their ovens was not as sturdy as it should be. The steel structure is uncluttered and uncomplicated, giving the impression that there is not much that could go wrong with it.
Additionally, pizza is cooked exceptionally nicely on the stone. The one drawback, if you can call it that, is that it does not keep heat as well as a stone that is both thicker and heavier. If you’re going to be cooking more than one pizza at a time—and let’s face it, who isn’t?!—then you’ll need to make sure the stone is back up to temperature after each pizza you create.
In order to relocate the oven, you will most likely need to remove the stone. To my mind, that would completely contradict the objective of having a portable oven.
My hypothesis is that the thinner stone helps to keep costs down, which allows the Oonisto to be priced at a more reasonable level. You always have the option to improve the stone if you so choose.
Although in my experience, the Oonistone has never presented me with any difficulties.
Where in the world are Ooni pizza ovens manufactured?
Ooni pizza ovens have their designs conceived in Scotland but are manufactured in China. It’s possible that this will turn off some folks, but you shouldn’t let it. Scotland is a pretty lovely place in my opinion, and I’ve always wanted to visit there.
But, if we’re being serious, I’m aware that a lot of people give priority to purchasing goods that were manufactured in places like the United Kingdom or the United States.
Even though China has a reputation for producing low-quality goods, I find that the majority of their products are of a very high standard. Taking everything into consideration, I believe it is accurate to characterize them as a manufacturing superpower.
For the year 2019, for instance, China was responsible for 28.7 percent of all manufacturing worldwide.Another advantage of having a product built in China is, unsurprisingly, the lower cost.
I would think that Ooni pizza ovens, if they weren’t built in China, would be priced at least twice as high.And to be fair to Ooni, I have to say that over the past few years, there has been a discernible improvement in both the design and the construction quality.
Everything seems like it has been finished to a high standard, and it feels like a lot of thought went into it.
Are the ovens used by Ooni pizza insulated?
Insulation is one of the more recent additions to the design of Oonis, which is one of the reasons for its improved performance. This results in the air within the oven remaining at a higher temperature for a longer period of time and maintaining a more stable temperature, which eventually results in a better-cooked pizza.
In all honesty, the addition of insulation gets the Oonis closer to being on par with more expensive pizza ovens. I believe that this is something that a lot of Oonifans were looking forward to them implementing in the near future, and they have!
The ovens have been updated to use a double-walled design that is insulated with ceramic fiber. It has a highly streamlined appearance, to the point that you most likely wouldn’t even notice it unless you were specifically seeking for it.
How long do Ooni ovens typically stay functional?
I have an Ooni that is quite old and was one of the very first models ever produced. Even now, after almost ten years, it continues to produce excellent results, even though it has likely baked several hundreds, if not thousands, of pizzas.
Even when I do things that are probably not recommended, like leaving it outside overnight on multiple occasions, it still makes delicious pizza. I suppose that demonstrates how resilient they are in general.
To set a specific number on how long an Ooni pizza oven will endure is, in my opinion, impossible; but, I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t last for twenty years if it were well maintained. In addition, if necessary, you can acquire replacement components on the Ooni website.
Final thoughts on the excellent build quality of the Ooni
I believe that the Oonis have a good build quality, particularly when the price is taken into consideration. In this regard, I have no problems.
In my opinion, the construction quality has also increased over the past few years, particularly because insulation has been added.
In addition, the ovens appear to be constructed to precise tolerances, as seen by components such as the chimney that fit together beautifully and slot together nicely. The Ooni pizza ovens have a sturdy yet streamlined appearance in my opinion.
Part 2: How Easy It Is to Use
The next thing I’m going to look at is how easy it is to use. I’ll be taking into consideration not only how simple it is to use them for those just starting out, but also how simple it is to use them once you’ve gotten the hang of things (if that’s even possible)!
Utilizing a pizza oven from Ooni
Which kind of Ooni pizza oven you have greatly determines how simple it is to use the appliance. There are gas and solid fuel alternatives available for the Ooni line of products.
Making use of a gas Ooni
The gas models are particularly user-friendly, and some examples include the Ooni Koda 12 and the Ooni Koda 16. You only need to turn the gas up high and light it using the ignitor that is already built in! In all honesty, the experience is not dissimilar to that of using a standard oven.
Even with the solid fuel options, you still have to wait for it to get hot before you can use it, but this does not take very long. I prefer to use a thermometer that is a laser. They are not very expensive, and they provide an instant reading of the stone, which is the most essential component to get to the desired temperature as quickly as possible.
Using the knob on the side of the gas Ooni models, you are able to make temperature adjustments with ease as well. If the temperature inside the oven rises above 450 degrees Celsius (or 900 degrees Fahrenheit), it is simple to reduce the heat.
The requirement for a gas bottle is really the only disadvantage associated with the Ooni gas pizza ovens. They weigh a lot and are not very affordable. However, they do have a very lengthy lifespan.
If the portability of the bottles is a concern of yours, you can acquire them in more manageable sizes that are more compact.
They are also a little bit less expensive, but the drawback is that it will need to be refilled much more frequently. I suppose the severity of this issue will be proportional to the frequency with which you use the oven.
Utilising ooni as a solid fuel source
The solid fuel variants, such as the Ooni Fyra, the Ooni Koda 12, the Ooni Koda 16, or the Ooni Pro, are a little bit more difficult to operate than the liquid fuel ones. However, with some experience, they can provide an outstanding cooking experience. In addition, in my opinion, they contribute additional flavor to the crusts, which comes across as a light smokiness.
Another advantage of making use of solid fuel in the oven, such as wood pellets, is that it is very easy to move around. There is not a cumbersome gas cyclinder that needs to be transported. Those who wish to be able to create pizza wherever they want, whenever they want, will find that choices that use solid fuel, like the Ooni Fyra, are wonderful options.
For me, using the pellet Oonis to cook is a lot of fun, but I understand that others might not feel the same way. It can be difficult to maintain temperature control while also building up the fire’s intensity, which is especially true while attempting to form and garnish pizza. If you have someone to assist you, then it will be a great deal simpler for you to complete the task.
They do heat up really quickly, however, and they are not difficult to light. On the other hand, if they get too hot, there is no easy method to cool them down quickly like there is with gas models. The only thing you need to do is wait for the flames to die down a little bit.
Making pizza for the first time with an Ooni pizza oven
I believe that the gas variants of the Ooni pizza oven, such as the Koda, are definitely simpler to use when it comes to making pizza for the first time. Gas is the way to go if you want to be able to take the pizza oven out of the box and have instantaneous control over the oven.
As far as I’m concerned, the gas Oonis is immediately available for use by anybody wants it. There is a possibility that there will be a learning curve involved, such as determining the temperature that is most comfortable for you and learning how to accurately adjust it. If, on the other hand, you are someone who has experience making pizza, I don’t think you would have any trouble preparing delectable pizzas in almost no time at all.
People who have never used a pizza oven before will likely find that the most difficult obstacle to overcome is acclimating themselves to cooking at temperatures as high as 450 degrees Celsius (900 degrees Fahrenheit!). Because the pizzas only take a minute and a half to cook, you’ll need to become an expert at turning them.
However, you will run into this problem regardless of which Ooni you purchase because once they reach temperature, all Oonis can cook pizzas in less than a minute and a half. For that matter, any excellent pizza oven will do.
Can Ooni pizza ovens be used throughout the winter?
Ooni pizza ovens can be used throughout the year, particularly during the colder months like winter. In point of fact, they provide a fantastic experience in cold weather, with friends or family huddling around the fire (provided that you are willing to share the pizza, of course!).
I have used my own Ooni while the temperature was below freezing, and I have even used it when it was raining, however I do not encourage doing either of these things!
Is the Ooni suitable for usage in enclosed spaces?
No, you are not permitted to use an Ooni inside. Because they are intended solely for use in the open air, bringing them indoors could potentially put you in harm’s way. Even the gas Oonis, like the Koda, are not allowed to be used inside the building.
On the other hand, this is true for any decent pizza oven. Electric pizza ovens are the only kind that may be used indoors, and despite their name, they are not genuine pizza ovens.
An electric oven cannot replace the open flame that is necessary for the proper functioning of a pizza oven.
A few closing notes on how easy it is to utilize Ooni…
I believe that if you purchase a gas Ooni, you will find that it is relatively simple to use, particularly if you are already accustomed to preparing pizza. However, even if you aren’t, operating the oven itself shouldn’t be too difficult. Since we won’t be utilizing an oven, the most difficult part of this process will be learning how to form and cook the pizza.
Buying a gas attachment for one of the solid fuel types is an additional choice you have when it comes to gas as a fuel source. This thus provides you with the option to cook on either surface, giving you the best of both worlds.
On the Ooni website, you can purchase gas accessories for the Ooni Karu 12, the Ooni Karu 16, and the Ooni Pro.
If you choose an Ooni that burns solid fuel, such as the Ooni Fyra, which burns pellets, then operating it will be a little bit more difficult. In an ideal situation, you will have someone else tend the fire for you and ensure that it always has sufficient fuel. After that, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
On the other hand, if you want to make numerous pizzas at once and you don’t have any assistance, it can be a little bit too much of a problem for you.
Personally, I think that cooking over a real fire gives food a more genuine flavor, and you could discover that it also adds a little something extra to the dish. At the end of the day, everything boils down to a matter of taste and desire. It’s possible that the simplicity of operation of a gas model will appeal to you more.
Aside from the fact that they can’t cook multiple pizzas at the same time, I don’t see any other problems with the performance of any of the models. Nevertheless, there are some larger models that can cook pizzas that are 16 inches in diameter! Check out the Koda 16, Karu 16, and the Ooni Pro if that is the kind of thing you are interested in purchasing.
To tell you the truth, I was unable to pick one model that I believe to be superior in terms of performance. My opinion is that each one is quite unique and excels at the purpose it was designed to serve. The pizza oven that is the greatest fit for your needs will depend on the features that are most important to you and how much money you are willing to pay.